Wild Thing (The Troggs song)

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"Wild Thing"
Wild Thing (The Troggs song).png
Single by the Troggs
Released 22 April 1966 (1966-04-22)
Format 7-inch single
Studio Olympic Sound, London
Length 2:30
Songwriter(s) Chip Taylor
Producer(s) Larry Page
The Troggs UK singles chronology
"Lost Girl"
"Wild Thing"
"With a Girl Like You"
The Troggs US singles chronology
"Wild Thing"
"I Can't Control Myself"

"Wild Thing" is a song written by Chip Taylor. Originally recorded by American rock band the Wild Ones in 1965,[5] "Wild Thing" is best known for its 1966 cover by the English rock band the Troggs, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1966. The song peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart.

The Troggs version of "Wild Thing" is ranked at number 261 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Wild Ones[edit]

The Wild Ones were the house band at the New York City nightclub Arthur, set up by socialite Sybil Christopher, who had married the band's former lead singer Jordan Christopher. Although they had issued an album, it was not as successful as the band had hoped, and their producer Gerry Granahan contacted Chip Taylor to ask him to write a song for them to release as a single. Taylor explained:

I started just chuggin’ away on a couple of chords and within a couple of minutes of getting off the phone I had the chorus and I was kind of likin’ it. I didn’t really know what I was going to say in between but I was thinking there was something cool and sweaty about this. So I went to the studio ... Because it was a sexual-kind-of-feeling song, I didn’t want to be embarrassed, I wanted to let myself sing it, so I asked [producer] Ron [Johnson] to turn the lights out when I got there and have my stool ready and have my microphone ready and when I got there, I said, “Put the tape in record and just let it go and let me just keep playin' ... And then I stomped on a board, just to give a cool little edge to it and I banged on a tambourine and then Ron was foolin’ around. As the track was playing back, he was doing this little thing with his hands, like when you put a blade of grass in there and you get a whistling sound? Only he was able to it without the blade of grass in it. It sounded cool ... I listened back and I thought it sounded great. I was a little afraid to play it for people because it was so different than anything I’d done before; it wasn’t one of those pretty little country songs. And it was very sexy.[6]

Granahan approved the song and produced the Wild Ones' recording, with vocals by Chuck Alden. However, on its release in November 1965 the record failed to sell, and Alden later said that he regretted not performing the song in the same way as Taylor's demo.[7]

The Troggs version[edit]

Because of a distribution dispute, the Troggs' single was available on two competing labels: Atco Records and Fontana Records.[8] Because both pressings were taken from the identical master recording, Billboard combined the sales for both releases, making it the only single to simultaneously reach No. 1 for two companies.[9]

On the Atco label, the author credits of both sides are reversed as "Wild Thing" is credited to Reg Presley (Troggs' lead vocalist) and its B-side, "With a Girl Like You", to Chip Taylor. On the Fontana label, "Wild Thing" is correctly credited to Chip Taylor and the flip contains a different song, "From Home", by Reg Presley. The Fontana label credits production to Page One Productions, England, while the Atco label credits production as "A Larry Page Production, Recorded in England". One further difference between the two singles is that there is a noticeable "click" on the Atco single after Presley says "You move me" and just before the music starts again; this click is edited out of the Fontana version.

The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart on issue date June 25, 1966. Two weeks later (July 9), it leaped from number 47 to number six. The song then rose to number two where it remained for the next two weeks (July 16 and July 23), while "Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells occupied the top spot. On issue date July 30, 1966, "Wild Thing" hit number one where it remained for two weeks. The song ultimately logged eleven weeks on the chart, with eight of those weeks in the Top 10.

In Canada, the single (Fontana 1548) reached number two on the RPM Magazine charts on August 8, 1966.

Later, the group did a version of "Wild Thing" with Canned Heat.

Amanda Lear version[edit]

"Wild Thing"
Single by Amanda Lear
from the album Secret Passion
B-side "Aphrodisiac"
Released 1987 (1987)
Length 3:26
Label Carrere
Songwriter(s) Chip Taylor
Producer(s) Christian De Walden
Amanda Lear singles chronology
"Les Femmes"
"Wild Thing"

French singer Amanda Lear recorded "Wild Thing" for her comeback album Secret Passion and added a synthpop feel to it. The single was produced by Christian De Walden and released in 1987. On the B-side another Secret Passion track was released, "Aphrodisiac", whose French language version "Aphrodisiaque" later became a separate A-side single. A 12-inch single included a remixed version of "I'm a Mistery" and a 1987 re-recording of "Follow Me". "Wild Thing" was performed in a number of TV shows, but failed to chart.

Music video[edit]

The "Wild Thing" music video was shot in Parisian Hôtel Meurice, in the most luxurious suite, which had been Salvador Dalí's favourite.[10] French actor and singer Jean-Luc Lahaye appears in the clip, sitting in bed in a bathrobe and reading Amanda's 1987 novel L'Immortelle. Amanda takes her bathrobe off, revealing a scant sexy outfit, and dances around the room. Two female dancers appear in the video, dressed as maids, performing minimalistic dance routines.

Track listing[edit]

A. "Wild Thing" – 3:26
B. "Aphrodisiac" – 3:44
  • French 12-inch single (1987)[13]
A. "Wild Thing" (extended version) – 5:11
B1. "I'm a Mistery" (remix) – 5:16
B2. "Aphrodisiac" – 3:44
  • Canadian 12-inch single (1987)[14]
A. "Wild Thing" (remix) – 5:11
B. "Follow Me" – 7:20

Other versions[edit]

"Wild Thing"
Single by Divinyls
from the album Reckless Kelly
B-side "Picture This"
Released 15 March 1993 (1993-03-15)[15]
Recorded 1992
Genre Rock
Songwriter(s) Chip Taylor
Divinyls singles chronology
"I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore"
"Wild Thing"
"Love Is the Drug"

"Wild Thing" has remained popular ever since the Troggs' hit single and has been recorded many times:

In popular culture[edit]

  • In the UK the song was used heavily by television programme "You've Been Framed", for clips generally involving animals.
  • The song was featured in a prominent scene in the 1997 miniseries Painted Lady featuring Helen Mirren.
  • In 1994, the Troggs' version was used in the film D2: The Mighty Ducks but it was not credited in the film. It also appears on the film's soundtrack.
  • The 1989 baseball film Major League used "Wild Thing" recorded by L.A. punk band X as the theme song for Rick Vaughn, the team's erratic starting/relief pitcher. Life soon imitated art, when the Philadelphia Phillies closer Mitch Williams adopted the song for his entrances from the bullpen, including in the 1993 World Series. During the late 2000s, the song was played at Fenway Park when Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon would come in from the bullpen, followed by "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" by the Dropkick Murphy's.
  • Japanese Pro Wrestler Atsushi Onita used the X version of the song as his entrance theme.
  • A version by Cheap Trick was used for the film Encino Man.
  • In 2003, Aerosmith recorded a version of the song with a video, which was used for commercials and teasers advertising ABC's coverage of the NFL Wild Card playoffs.
  • In 1998, the song was used in The Vicar of Dibley episode "Love and Marriage" - the choir at St. Barnabus' Church sang the song after Hugo and Alice made their vows and were pronounced man and wife.
  • In the Full House episode, "Just Say No Way," Jesse Katsopolis plays this song with the marching band at DJ's school dance (replacing Dogface, a popular high school band, who broke up hours beforehand). The song appeared again in the "Be True To Your Pre-School" episode, when Kimmie, D.J., Stephanie and Michelle sang it while driving in a car named Wild Thing. Reappeared in the first episode of the sequel series Fuller House, sung by Danny Tanner.
  • The title of the 1986 film Something Wild was itself an inversion of the song title. The film features a scene where two main characters (played by Jeff Daniels and Melanie Griffith) pick up some hitch-hikers in their convertible and the party then sing "Wild Thing". (The film also includes an unrelated song named Wild Thing written, and performed, by Sister Carol.)
  • The song was also sung in the TV show Saved by the Bell.
  • The book "A Punk Rock Love Song" uses Wild Thing as a rock band's audition song, with a character describing it as, "a dumb song, I know, but it's easy. If people can't play that, then hell with 'em." [1]
Preceded by
"Hanky Panky" by Tommy James And The Shondells
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
"Wild Thing" by The Troggs

July 30, 1966
(two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Summer in the City" by The Lovin' Spoonful


  1. ^ Stiernberg, Bonnie. "The 50 Best Garage Rock Songs of All Time". Paste. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Nick Talevski (April 7, 2010). Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door. Omnibus Press. p. 342. ISBN 978-0-85712-117-2. 
  3. ^ Peter Doggett (27 August 2015). Electric Shock: From the Gramophone to the iPhone – 125 Years of Pop Music. Random House. p. 421. ISBN 978-1-4481-3031-3. 
  4. ^ Dylan Jones (14 August 2014). Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died. The Overlook Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-4683-1042-9. 
  5. ^ The release was United Artists 947. See history at Second Hand Songs Archived 2007-02-20 at the Wayback Machine..
  6. ^ Frank Mastropolo, ""Wild Thing” – The First Punk Rock Song?", Pop(ular) Culture Elective, November 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2015
  7. ^ Justin Tricarico, "The Wild Ones without Jordan". Retrieved 30 October 2015
  8. ^ Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. July 6, 1966. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  9. ^ Mojo Magazine #173 (April 2008), pg. 39
  10. ^ "The Hotel Meurice". daliplanet.blogsome.com. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  11. ^ "WILD THING 1987 France". amandalear_singoli.tripod.com. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  12. ^ "Wild Thing / Aphrodisiac by Amanda Lear : Reviews and Ratings". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  13. ^ "Wild Thing / I'm A Mistery / Aphrodisiac by Amanda Lear : Reviews and Ratings". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  14. ^ "Amanda Lear - Wild Thing / Follow Me (Vinyl) at Discogs". www.discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  15. ^ "New Release Summary – Product Available from: 14/03/93 (sic) > Singles (from The ARIA Report Issue No. 162)". Imgur.com (original source published by ARIA). Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  16. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 53 - String Man. : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries. 
  17. ^ "Show 47 - Sergeant Pepper at the Summit: The very best of a very good year. [Part 3] : UNT Digital Library". Digital.library.unt.edu. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  18. ^ Vincent, Alice (5 February 2013), Wild Thing: The story behind the song, Telegraph.co.uk, retrieved 15 August 2015 
  19. ^ Sprague, David (2007). "Unrest". Trouser Press. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  20. ^ Steffen Hung. "Divinyls - Wild Thing". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  21. ^ "Winning Is Fun (Wild Thing Cover)". YouTube. 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 

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